Belgium catches yearly 500 tons of sharks. Do Belgian fishermen practice shark finning? Our investigation uncovered at least one case of shark finning. A Belgian fishing vessel was caught on sea with two fins of a basking shark in the ship’s freezer. The fins were worth at least 13.000 euro.

Published in: EOS magazine 2, 2011 (in Dutch: Naar de haaien – pdf) – project Funded by Fonds Pascal Decroos voor Onderzoeksjournalistiek

Shark finning-fins

Photo: R. Lieben

In short:

According to scientists approximately 73 million sharks are yearly culled to sustain the increasing demand for shark fins by Asian markets. Despite several shark species being endangered… Shark finning, the practice where the fins are removed at sea while the rest of the shark body is thrown back into the water, is prohibited since 2003 by a European law. However, the law contains loop holes.

In Belgium yearly 500 ton sharks are caught by fishermen. We investigated if Belgian fishermen practice shark finning and stumbled upon at least one case of shark finning.




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